Trade Shaq Lawson
We have already seen Beane ship out several picks from the Doug Whaley/Rex Ryan regime, and we could certainly see that trend continue. Defensive end Shaq Lawson has played 21 of a possible 32 games through his two full seasons with the Bills – recording six total sacks in that time (courtesy of Pro Football Reference).
Despite not being great at getting to the quarterback, Lawson is very good at setting the edge and helping against the run. At 6-foot-3 and 269 pounds, Shaq has the size to be an effective contributor on many teams.
However, with this Bills defensive line, they don’t need another run defender. One of the biggest issues with the team is their weak pass-rush – a pass-rush that finished tied for 29th in the league last season. They need a true pass-rusher on the edge opposite of Jerry Hughes.
A very similar situation could play out with Lawson like what happened with Reggie Ragland last training camp. Ragland – the second round pick from the same draft as Lawson – missed his entire rookie season due to a torn ACL and was shipped to the Kansas City Chiefs for a 2019 fourth-round pick during training camp.
He was never a fit for McDermott’s defense due to Ragland being a 3-4 middle linebacker and also not a pick of the current regime. He quickly fell down the depth chart before he was moved to the Chiefs for compensation next year.
It may create another temporary hole on the defensive line, but if the team re-signs Eddie Yarbrough and can draft or sign a pass rushing specialist, they can easily replace Lawson’s production.
Potential trade partners: Oakland, Tampa Bay, Indianapolis
Potential compensation: Third of fourth-round pick